Tree Swallow

The hardiest swallow, it arrives early in spring and even winters over in some localities. When insects are unavailable, the Tree Swallow feeds mostly on bayberries; some wintering birds have also been seen picking seeds from pond ice.


Tree Swallow
Roland Jordahl
Tree Swallows
Tree Swallows
Donna Brownrigg
Tree Swallow, nestlings


Tree Swallowflashcube
flashcube Tree Swallow

Scientific Name: Tachycineta bicolor.
Family: Swallow.
Length: 5-3/4 inches.
Wingspan: 14-1/2 inches.
Distinctive Markings: Iridescent greenish-blue above and white below. Female may be duller.
Nest: Female builds nest in a cavity using grass, needles and feathers, and lays up to eight white eggs.
Voice: Typically an early-morning singer, the song is a pleasant gurgling chatter when in flight.
Habitat: Open areas with scattered trees and water.
Diet: Insects, berries and seeds.
Backyard Favorites: Native plants to attract bugs; feathers in a suet cage or on the lawn for nesting material. Nest boxes designed for bluebirds also attract this swallow.

Bird Song & Range Map

Listen to the Tree Swallow’s song and learn where to spot them!

Bird songs provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Tree Swallow Bird SpeciesRange maps provided by Kaufman Field Guides, the official field guide of Birds & Blooms.

Jill Staake
Jill lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes about gardening, butterflies, outdoor projects and birding. When she's not gardening, you'll find her reading, traveling and happily digging her toes into the sand on the beach.